by Katie Culver

Can you name the medical condition that is one of the easiest to recognize, hardest to ‘cure,’ and responsible for over 300,000 deaths each year? The answer: Childhood obesity. This epidemic has spread like wildfire through our country and is continuing to become more prevalent… and destructive. According to an article on Stop Childhood Obesity’s website, the annual cost to society for obesity is estimated at nearly $100 billion! Since the 1980s, the childhood obesity rate has increased by more than double for very young kids aged 2-5 years and adolescents aged 12-19 years, and for the midrange, 6-11 years of age, it has increased by 3 times.  Those are just alarming statistics!

We are starting to see diseases in children that only adults experienced.  In our office we are also seeing more cases of kids with neck pain, back pain and headaches that is complicated by obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.

Here in our home town of Indianapolis, a wonderful thing has begun that will hopefully begin to flip these childhood obesity statistics over. This summer, a pilot program summer camp named Forever-Fit Summer Camp was launched for local 8- to 12-year olds. On their 24 acre facility, kids are educated on nutrition, with others who also want to see life change, and encouraged to take advantage of an array of fun amenities on site. The focus away from a legalistic mindset of counting calories and feeling forced into exercise and placed on cast vision to these kids as to how they can enjoy taking ownership for their choices and practically live healthier lifestyles. Beyond the actual camp, parents are asked to be a part of the process and encouraged be a leader to their kids through regular meetings, post-camp.

I’m so impressed with this camp. I think the camp’s vision and focus are on target to changing countless lives. The camp is even made available very inexpensively and is one of a kind when compared to what the rest of the nation has to offer. Overweight children are prone to become overweight adults, but the generational cycle can be changed as we adopt and maintain healthier patterns of eating, thinking, and exercise.

For more information – click US Kids